January 25, 2010 - Can You Tell It's An El Niño Season?
By: Mallory Brooke
Updated: Tue 1:19 PM, Jan 26, 2010
Monday's flooding proves that El Niño doesn't give the Valley break. Is there more to come? Read about it in Mallory's Weather Blog!
I don't think I've ever been woken up by rain. A thunderstorm? Yes. Rain pelting my window for hours? No. What a busy morning it has been in the First Alert Storm Center. Always a special thanks to those who call in rainfall amounts and report flooding in their neighborhood (and those on facebook too).
This storm packed a lot of moisture as it moved up the Shenandoah Valley. Flash flood warnings began before midnight and lasted through early Monday. Many roads are impassable Monday morning, prompting school closures for several counties. Rainfall amounts not only bring us above our monthly rainfall average, but the actual amount of rain is more than our January average as a whole. Some areas even doubled the amount, with over three inches of rain falling in areas of Augusta County. In Harrisonburg, the average January precipitation amount is 1.82 inches. Before this storm, we were at 1.10 inches. We've received 1.92 inches of rain in the past 24 hours. Impressive.
Which leads me to my title - can you tell it's an Niño season? Storm after storm move up from the southeast and deliver heavy rain and even snowfall to the area. Just when we think the weather calms down, mother nature reminds us how active El Niño seasons are.
To prove the point further, take a look at the 7 day forecast. Our next system is moving in by the end of the week. It's another storm system from the southeast, and with cold air in place for the Mid-Atlantic, we could be looking at more snow to add to our 2009-2010 winter season snowfall. Computer models are picking up on another storm to affect the area next Wednesday (February 3) and the Farmer's Almanac predicted a Valentine's Day snowstorm. I think we're in this for the long haul.